Pet ownership has soared in the pandemic, and those new pets are affecting housing decisions for owners looking to relocate, a recent analysis shows.
The analysis, a collaboration between the real estate marketplace Zillow and the pet-service firm Rover, found that many dog owners were looking for areas that were better suited to their pets’ needs. To compile a list of the fastest-growing, dog-friendly locales in the United States, the companies analyzed dog accounts added to Rover’s database from June 2021 to March 2022, and combined those with views of single-family home rentals identified as “pet friendly” from March 2021 to March 2022 on Zillow.
The list comprises midsize cities and suburbs, a sign that pet owners are not finding adequate accommodations in big cities, said Kate Jaffe, a trends expert at Rover. Topping the list was Antioch, Tenn., a neighborhood in south Nashville anchored by a creekside park. It was followed by Baltimore; Alexandria, Va.; Fuquay-Varina, NC; Kansas City, Kan.; Cumming, Ga.; Bellevue, Wash.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Charleston, SC
“Pet parents tell us their biggest motivator for moving is more space,” Ms. Jaffe said in an email. “The cities with more homes that have pet-friendly features like fenced yards, dog doors and close proximity to a dog park are going to be popular with pet parents right now.”
In a separate survey of 1,000 dog owners conducted for Rover in March by Pollfish, 72 percent of said they would consider moving to a home that better suited their dog’s needs. Sixty-one percent cited their pet’s well-being as their inspiration to move.
Of course, moving can bring pet owners a new set of headaches. “On top of the challenge of finding a pet-friendly rental, many are still up against expensive pet deposits, breed and size restrictions and a limit on the number of household pets,” Ms. Jaffe said.
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